Tag Archives: puzzles

Progress brings a new struggle

Today wound up being a decent writing day. For those keeping score, it came to 1850 new words.

My followers are all either writers, readers, or both and I’ve never hidden my author struggles from you guys. I figure if I’m facing some issues, you might be too one day. Maybe something I’ve written will help someone else eventually.

Serang and her master entered the Temple of Wind. I managed a cool bit with an eagle chattering away that produced echoes and reverberations galore. I kind of like it, but wish I had more of a fantasy creature to pull this off. Since this has a tie to Lanternfish, it’s good to pepper it with the occasional fantasy thingmebob. I’ll leave it for now. Maybe something will come to me later.

Crossing the desert involved solving a few puzzles to find the path. It was cool. However, getting through the Temple of Wind is also going to involve solving a few puzzles. Okay, as long as they’re different challenges… right?

My issue is two-fold. I need to be creative enough to come up with new challenges that aren’t just the same old thing with fresh makeup. I am having some creative doubts.

My advantage is in having spent one hell of a lot of time in the wilderness, including deserts. I’ve hiked on trails and tried to keep to the true path. (I wasn’t always a fat old man.)

However; there is a third scene I need to write that also involves thinking and feeling Serang’s way through a physical challenge. She has to face this alone, but it is going to be somewhat similar.

The intent is they puzzled their way across the desert. The Temple of Wind brings new problems, but together they can do amazing things. Then, when it’s just her she has to bring her lessons to bear and think on her own without an instructor to help her.

The risk is that it’s going to become boring by the time the final event occurs. I have three possible solutions and have decided upon one.

First option is to write it all out and throw caution to the wind. People will either love it, or not.

Second option is to tell a bunch of the Temple of Wind stuff. I believe telling has a place in a story, as long as it doesn’t last very long. It’s my least favorite option.

Third option is to shorten up the crossing through the Temple of Wind. This is what I’m going with. It’s because delivering the message that Serang can think and make life or death decisions shouldn’t take multiple chapters. The Temple of Wind is cool. For the sake of the overall story, it needs to be a bit shorter.

This doesn’t mean it has to be a fast route. I can tell that two days passed between interesting events, then show those interesting events. As of this writing, I’m still working some of it out, but by morning I should be ready to go again.

By using option number three, I have more leeway to make the final obstacle more interesting and might not waste all my tricks before I get there.

How about you guys? Did you get to work on your fiction this weekend? Did you read something interesting instead, maybe do some cool research? Let me hear from you.


Filed under Writing

Meet Natalie Ducey #RRBC

As part of the Rave Reviews Book Club, I occasionally get to host authors on their spotlight tours. The most supportive authors are chosen for this spot, and Natalie is a super supporter. I want you guys to give her a warm welcome, and don’t be afraid to use those sharing buttons at the bottom.


Thank you for joining me today on this fourth day of the “Spotlight” tour!

Today, I’d love to share an extension of my poetry that is very near and dear to my heart.

When passion and purpose collide.
Did you know that the simple act of piecing together a jigsaw puzzle can offer therapeutic benefits? It can, and the promising findings were impossible to ignore. While stimulating the brain, it also acts as a form of meditation, allowing the mind to relax. This simultaneous action has shown promising findings for people living with dementia, and can be a valuable source of reprieve for individuals living and coping with mental illness, including PTSD.

My twin sister (Nicole) and I are both proud wives of long-serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces. We didn’t plan it that way. But we are blessed beyond measure.

We all know the devastating impact of PTSD.  It hurts everyone. The man or woman suffering with it, their spouses, partners, children, parents, siblings, friends, relatives, and even their pets. Everyone is impacted.  Many of those who are suffering with PTSD are military, police, paramedics, and firefighters. They are our first responders. In their selfless acts of service, they have suffered. It’s painful to see.

We have immense respect for those who serve, those who suffer, and those who struggle to find peace in their minds and hearts. If we can contribute even a small piece of peace, it is our privilege and honour to do so.

It is this inner call to action that Peace by Piece Puzzles was born.

We both have had fulfilling careers in business (Nicole) and counselling (me). Through our work and personal journey, we have witnessed the remarkable power of the human spirit. Equipped with empathy and compassion, we are eager to make a difference. We believe that every act of kindness, every gesture of love and understanding, is an infinite gift of grace. Let’s never underestimate its power, for it is a precious and always timely gift.

What is a Peace by Piece Puzzle?

Along with a beautiful, tranquil image, every Peace by Piece Puzzle carries an inspirational verse, a message of hope and love. The verses are written by me and come from a heart of gratitude. Through my words, I aspire to offer solace and hope, love and understanding.

In our face-paced, dynamic, and often complex lives, a gift to oneself or a loved one is special.  A Peace by Piece Puzzle is a gift from the heart; it is permission to quiet the mind alone, or come together with a loved one in a shared experience. During those moments when words are sometimes hard to find, a Peace by Piece Puzzle can be your voice.

There are eight verses/puzzles available:

o A Mother’s Love

o A Father’s Love

o Mighty Heart

o Into the Light

o To My Sister

o From Me, To You

o Our Story

o Still Me
Today, I would like to share with you the verse “Mighty Heart.” I wrote this piece as a tribute and testament to the power and resiliency of the human spirit. This poem is included in my second and recently published poetry collection, The Heart’s Lullaby.

I believe mental wellness should not be a convoluted concept; it’s an essential piece of our lives. A daily promise to ourselves that we are worthy to be free of inner turmoil, free to love and be loved. Piece by piece, step by step, we can do this. We are all in this together.

Please visit our website, view our puzzles, and share with others.


Mighty Heart

We admire another’s courage

While doubting our own

Yet we’ve prevailed mighty hardships

Battles waged and won.

We hold no trophies or medallions

No headlines speak our name

We rose from the ashes

And piece by piece we built again.

Our scars tell a story

We braved the fiercest storms

For we’re both the pioneer and vessel

That ventured into the unknown.

We are not of myth or legend

Our hearts know the burden well

We bore, sustained, and survived

For into the fray we sailed.

Fear shall not cage nor define us

Here we stand on vast, shaky ground

So, let’s never doubt our courage

Dare this mighty voyage … both noble and proud.
© Natalie Ducey


In celebration of my “Spotlight” tour, I’m delighted to say my second and recently published poetry collection The Heart’s Lullaby is currently available for .99 cents!

With a BA in Psychology, Natalie has worked in the Counselling field for 15 years. Through her work and personal journey, she has witnessed the remarkable power of the human spirit. Now, as an author and poet, she is passionate about stories that touch the heart and awaken the soul. Through words, she aspires to offer solace and hope, love and understanding. Natalie is the Co-owner and Writer of Peace by Piece Puzzles. She is the Owner/Writer/Designer of Whispers of the Heart (printable art/poetry/verse). She was born and raised in beautiful Newfoundland, Canada, with her two brothers and twin sister. She now resides in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, a Soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces, and their little dog, Bella. She loves kayaking and the freedom and serenity of being one with water. She is an avid reader, passionate writer, and seeker of tranquility along life’s mystifying journey.

You can connect with Natalie on:

Website/Blog – www.natalieducey.com

Facebook – Whispers of the Heart

Twitter – @NatalieDucey

Pinterest – Natalie Ducey

Author Page – Natalie Ducey

Google +1 – Natalie Ducey

GoodReads Author Page – Natalie Ducey

LinkedIn – Natalie Ducey


Filed under Writing